As the men’s and women’s beach volleyball knockout stages began, Team USA was front and center fighting for more gold medals to bring home from Tokyo.
First up for the American duos was Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil.
After going 3-0 in pool play, Claes and Sponcil faced Canada’s Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson on Saturday in the Round of 16. Claes and Sponcil took the first set 24-22 before dropping the second 21-18 and the third 15-13. The American duo’s first loss in Tokyo eliminates them from the Olympic competition.
First-time Olympians Claes, 25, and Sponcil, 24, will have plenty of time to hopefully earn medals in 2024 and beyond.
Next up was American men’s pair Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena, who went 2-1 in pool play. Dalhausser and Lucena battled Qatar’s Ahmed Tijan and Cherif Younousse in the Round of 16 early Sunday morning.
Team USA won the first set 21-14 before losing the second 21-19 and the third 15-11.
With the loss, Dalhausser’s run for another gold medal has come to an end alongside his first-time Olympian partner, Lucena.
The next two days of competition will feature the other two Team USA beach volleyball pairs: April Ross and Alix Klineman, and Tri Bourne and Jake Gibb.
Ross and Klineman will face Cuba’s Lidy Echevarria and Leila Martinez on Sunday, Aug. 1, at 8 p.m. ET.
Bourne and Gibb will also represent the U.S. when they face Germans Clemens Wickler and Julius Thole on Monday, Aug. 2, at 9 a.m. ET.
If both U.S. men’s teams win in the Round of 16 and quarterfinal, they would face each other in the semifinal, which means Team USA could take home two medals.